My best friend works at a handmade art market in Portland. She meets a lot of interesting people when she’s sitting at her booth selling necklaces — earth mamas who share recipes for homemade toothpaste, wood carvers who claim very matter-of-factly that they were born on a different planet, chakra healers and aura seers and everyone in between. A few weeks ago, she texted me about a young hippie writer who had stopped by the market as part of his nomadic journey across the country and offered to pay for his items with “trippy treats” instead of money (I die for details like this).
“He said something really cool while we were talking,” she wrote in her message. “He said that life is about choosing paths. We all must choose a path at any given time, and there is no right or wrong path, but there is always a path with more heart. When you choose the path with more heart, life becomes easier and happier.”
I stared at her text for a moment, letting the words sink in. I thought about all the paths I’ve taken, the way I’ve drastically altered the course of my life over the past few years, the way I’ve been itching to alter it again, and damn, let me tell you: hippie kid knows what’s up. Keep reading »
At this time last year, I was making the longest move of my life so far: from Portland to Nashville. This afternoon, I’m making the shortest: our new place is about two miles from this one. After moving across the country, I assumed this move would be a breeze. I mean, a two-mile move is obviously going to be easier than a 2,400 mile move, right? Right?! Well, not necessarily. We were talking to a friend about it the other day and he summed it up perfectly: “The thing about close moves is that you think it’s no big deal, so you procrastinate, don’t really pack, and then the day of, you’re just cramming shit in garbage bags and throwing it all in the trunk of your car.” The garbage bags full of fragile items that are strewn all over my house right now are proof of this statement’s accuracy. Sigh. So how does a close-in move compare to a massive move? Let’s break down the pros and cons of each… Keep reading »
This week marks the year anniversary of my big move to Nashville. I can’t believe it’s already been a year. On the one hand, it feels like I’ve been here forever, and on the other, it feels like about 2 weeks has passed since we sold all our stuff and set off on our cross-country road trip. I was talking to an acquaintance at a party the other night when I stopped abruptly after referring to myself as “new in town” — “Wait,” I said, “do I still get to call myself a newbie after a year?” Answers varied, but one thing I’ve realized about relocating to a new city is that the settling-in process is less about a certain amount of time passing and more about the milestones you reach along the way. Hitting the 3-month mark in a new zip code is decidedly less exciting than finally tracking down a new hairstylist you trust with your highlights, for example. Here are 10 signs that you’ve finally settled in to your new home: Keep reading »
In the months leading up to my move from Portland to Nashville, my life wasn’t exactly going smoothly. My family situation was growing more stressful by the day. Some of my closest friendships had turned toxic. I felt extremely out of place in the hipster culture that dominated the city. My boyfriend wasn’t happy in his job and was getting increasingly depressed. I suffered from terrible anxiety that had started around the time my neighbor’s house had been broken into, and kept me awake most nights, convinced that every creak of our old apartment was a robber prying open the downstairs window.
Those long nights gave me lots of time to think about how unhappy I was, and what I could do to fix it. Therapy, new friends, better self-care, meditation, and sleeping pills all came to mind (and in fact, I’d tried many of them already), but all these potential solutions were always eclipsed by one word: leave.
When I started telling friends and family members how miserable I was, I noticed a common thread in their responses. I’d reveal my plans to move away and start fresh, and they’d gently touch my shoulder and say, in hushed and concerned tones, “You can’t run away from your problems, you know.” Keep reading »
I moved to Charlotte a few months ago by way of Syracuse, New York. I left my family, the only place I’d ever lived, and snow in both May and October to check out life down south. Since I was Syracuse born and bred, I didn’t fully realize how monumental moving is until I did it.
When you move, you go into survival mode. It’s time to stop being polite and start getting real, as the kids say. Whereas at home you could get by just binge-watching Netflix and going to the same places with the same people, that’s no longer the case. You have to put yourself out there so you can start to build a life for yourself. Some of the other things I didn’t realize until I moved include… Keep reading »
Making friends as an adult is always a bit tricky. You can’t rely on the instant bonding powers of living in the same dorm or loathing the same chemistry teacher to create your social circle. People are super busy with jobs and relationships and kids. It seems like everyone is happily ensconced in their current friend group and not open to new members. Making new friends as an adult in a new city where you know no one is even trickier. But it’s not impossible! As a Nashville newbie myself, I’m still in the process of making friends. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way and some awesome tips collected from friends who have successfully done the whole “making friends in a new city” thing before… Keep reading »